Texas Tech University

David D. Perlmutter

Professor & Dean
Dean's Suite

Email: david.perlmutter@ttu.edu

Phone: +1.806.834.8582

Research: Media, Public Policy, and Public Affairs, Social Media, Health, Political, Visual

Office: 103

Web: http://davidperlmutter-research.net/

Ph.D. University of Minnesota, 1996
M.A. University of Pennsylvania, 1991

President, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication

David Perlmutter


For the past five years David D. Perlmutter has been a professor in and dean of the College of Media & Communication (CoMC) at Texas Tech University. He received his BA (‘85) and MA (‘91) from the University of Pennsylvania and his Ph.D. (‘96) from the University of Minnesota. The son of two professors and born into a long line of teachers on one side of the family and military officers on the other, he has spent twenty-five years as a scholar, teacher, and administrator in higher education in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Louisiana, Kansas, Iowa (as director of a school), and now Texas.

As an administrator, Perlmutter is nationally known for his expertise on fundraising through his writings and raising support for and launching the nation's first undergraduate certificate program to train development officers. He has helped start several Ph.D. programs and directly supervised professional and thesis-track MA programs, both on campus and at distance locations. At Texas Tech, his college has seen unprecedented growth in all metrics, including undergraduate and graduate enrollment, offsite and online offerings, retention and graduation rates, grant applications, multidisciplinary research partnerships, and risk management. The online master's program that CoMC started under his direction became the fastest growing graduate program in the history of Texas Tech. He secured the creation of a new Communication Training Center charged with working with HSTEM faculty to improve visual and oral communication to students and the public. He is consistently rated among the highest performing deans in the university by his faculty. He also chaired the TTU search committees for successful hires of Provost, Dean of Visual & Performing Arts, and Dean of Libraries.

Perlmutter is the author or editor of ten books on political communication, new media technologies, and higher education published by, among others, Palgrave, Oxford, and Harvard University Press. He has written several dozen research articles for academic journals as well as more than 400 essays for U.S. and international newspapers and magazines such as Campaigns & Elections, Christian Science Monitor, Editor & Publisher, Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, and USA Today. He has edited a book series and served on the editorial boards of several major journals and publishing concerns.

Perlmutter has been described as a “household name among American professors” because of the widespread readership of some seventeen years of his writings on academic careers and the future of higher education for the Chronicle of Higher Education. He also writes a feature on “Managing with Millennials,” dealing with generational challenges in the workplace for a business magazine. He ran several prominent programs at the Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas. He served on the board of two book presses. He was co-principal investigator for about $800,000 in grants through the Kansas Transportation Institute. At Louisiana State University he edited a political communication book series and won two faculty awards including the main campus-wide award for research, teaching, and service. In 2018 he was awarded the Texas Tech President's Excellence in Gender Equity Award for advancing gender diversity and equity in the college.

Perlmutter has been interviewed by most major news networks and newspapers, from the New York Times to CNN, ABC, and “The Daily Show.” He regularly speaks at industry, academic, and government meetings and runs workshops on personal and institutional branding via social media, visual persuasion, and higher education issues including fundraising. As part of his role as dean he regularly engages business, government, and non-profit groups and individuals. He has been twice elected to chair the research committee of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. In 2017, he was elected Vice President of the organization by the membership, and thus will accordingly be installed as president in 2019.

Administrative Highlights at TTU, 2013-Present

  • Full-time faculty increased 111.11%, from 36 in July 2013 to 76 appointed as of 7/1/18.
  • Full-time staff increased 73.91%, from 23 in July 2013 to 40 appointed as of 2018.
  • Our undergraduate student enrollment increased from 1,351 in fall 2013 to 1,855 in fall 2017.
  • Our graduate student enrollment increased 134.34%, from 99 in fall 2013 to 232 in fall 2017.
  • The number of funded graduate students increased from 33 in fall 2013 to an estimated 75 in fall 2018.
  • Total number of degrees conferred increased 65%, from 322 in 2013 to 531 in 2017.
  • $2.5 million increase in college endowment.
  • Realignment of the Department of Communication Studies and the Forensic Debate Team into CoMC (2015).
  • New programs developed: New MA in Strategic Communication, New BA in Digital Media & Professional Communication, and new 2+2 program in Waco.
  • Creation of the Think Tank Ideation Lab.
  • Creation of Communication Training Center to empower STEM faculty and grad students and support the TTU's new QEP (“Communicating in a Global Society”).
  • Realignment of Student Media (Daily Toreador & La Ventana yearbook) (2017).
  • Strategic teaching partnership developed with the Rawls College of Business Administration to teach their majors business and professional communication effective fall 2015 and expanded fall 2018 to include two required courses for all Rawls students.
  • Strategic teaching partnership developed with the School of Nursing in fall 2017 requiring all pre-Nursing students to take a CoMC Health Communication class.
  • Utilizing our Center for Communication Research (CCR), have created strategic research or teaching partnerships & collaborations with dozens of entities across campus.


Overall, I study persuasion through media. This includes:

  • Visual Communication
  • Political Communication
  • New and Emerging Media
  • Media History

Among my signature areas have been the study of news icons, social media and politics, and social media and health.


  • Content Analysis
  • In-Depth Interviews
  • Field Observation
  • Ethnography/Autoethnography

Research Areas

  • Media, Public Policy, and Public Affairs
  • Social media
  • Health communication
  • Political communication
  • Visual communication

Selected Publications

  • David D. Perlmutter. Photojournalism and Foreign Policy: Framing Icons of Outrage in International Crises. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1998. 
  • David D. Perlmutter. Blogwars: The New Political Battleground. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.
  • David D. Perlmutter. Policing the Media: Street Cops and Public Perceptions of Law Enforcement. Beverly Hills: Sage, 2000.

Teaching Focus

  • Political Communication
  • Survey of Media & Communication
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Ph.D. Proseminar

Grants & Awards

  • TTU 2017-2018 President's Excellence in Gender Equity Award.

  • 2013 CAMWS (Classical Association of the Middle West and South) Special Service Award. [Honors “classicists or non-classicists who have made special contributions to the promotion of Latin and Classical studies, especially at the state and local level, in CAMWS territory.”] http://www.camws.org/awards/service.php

  • Niagara Foundation, 2013. Funding for two academic outreach trips to Turkey (about $20,000)

  • International Programs Faculty Fellow, University of Iowa, Fall 2012-Spring 2013

  • Niagara Foundation, 2012. Funding for journalism faculty and practitioners outreach trip to Turkey (about $20,000)

  • Principal Investigator, “Training Minority Students from Chicago in Iowa Journalism Workshops,” McCormick Foundation, 2013 (about $20,000)

  • Principal Investigator, “Training Minority Students from Chicago in Iowa Journalism Workshops,” McCormick Foundation, 2012 (about $12,500)

  • Principal Investigator, “Training Minority Students from Chicago in Iowa Journalism Workshops,” McCormick Foundation, 2011 (about $12,500)

  • Principal Investigator, “Create an iPhone App” class tech funding, Academic Technologies Advisory Council 2009 Innovations in Teaching with Technology Award by Iowa Information Technology Services (about $6,500)

  • Principal Investigator, “2008 University of Kansas Transportation Research Institute Presidential & Congressional Forum” (about $43,000)

  • Co-Principal Investigator, “Development of an Interactive E-training Program for Work Zone Safety and Mobility,” University of Kansas Transportation Research Institute, 2008-2009 (about $130,000)

  • Co-Principal Investigator, “Improving Highway Workzone Safety,” University of Kansas Transportation Research Institute, 2008-2009 (about $180,000)

  • Principal Investigator, “Can Blog Usership Increase Newspaper Readership?” Funding by John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as part of the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education, 2006-2007 ($9,200)

  • Co-Principal Investigator, “Driver Safety and the Boomer Dilemma: ‘Advanced Driver Training' as Addressing the Attention Challenge,” University of Kansas Transportation Research Institute, 2006 (about $127,000)

  • LSU Press Professorship, 2003-2006 ($6,000 renewed yearly)

  • LSU Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching, Research & Service, 2001 ($1,000)

  • Mary Poindexter Research Professorship, 2000-2001 ($6,000)

  • Douglas Manship Research Professorship, 1998-2000 ($6,000)

  • Lee Griffin Research Professorship, 1997-1998 ($2,000)

  • Tiger Athletic Foundation Undergraduate Teaching Award, 1997-1998

  • LSU Incentive Grant for Teaching Innovation, 1996, “Evaluating Student Internship Expectations & Performance: A Pilot Study for Building an Attitude Scale” ($2,500)

  • LSU Summer Research Stipend, 1996, “The Pictorial Portrayal of the People's Republic of China in the Washington Post” ($4,000)

  • C-SPAN Winter Seminar for Professors, 1996, Conference invitation to Washington, D.C. and grant

  • Sorority-Fraternity “Best” Faculty Teaching Appreciation Award, 1994, University of Minnesota

  • Kriss Research Grant, 1993, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
  • University of Minnesota Graduate School and Frances Andrews Fund Grant for Research Abroad, 1992, “Formal and Thematic Styles of Photography in the People's Republic of China”